Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Gifting Quilts + Washing Instructions Free Download

I've been sewing for what feels like my whole life, but only seriously quilting for the last five. In spite of the fact that I've added quite a number of finished quilts to my stacks since then, I've not added as much experience with gifting them. Not because I'm stingy with my quilts, but because giving a quilt is something that is very special for me.

Recently we were able to celebrate my oldest niece's confirmation. In Germany, it is a common tradition that once a young adult reaches a certain age, they go through a year-long training to study their religious beliefs and are "confirmed" as a profession of their faith before joining a local congregation. It's a very big family celebration here.

Since things are a little different here than in the US, and I had never attended a confirmation before, I had to ask my mother-in-law what kind of present was appropriate for such an event? She shared that she would be gifting the very necklace that her grandmother had given her, and that gifts should be keepsakes or things that can be used or valued well into adult years... well, in my mind that could only be one thing - a quilt!

After doing a little research, I found several suggestions of things to include when gifting a quilt:

My family here in Germany only learned about quilts and quilting through me, so it was important that I included a little background information. The quilt that I gifted was a bee quilt (see info below), so I decided to do a little research about quilting bees to include with it. Since quilting bees started in the US during colonial times, it was fun for me to share a little of my cultural heritage with my German family.

I also created a washing instructions sheet so she would know how to care for the quilt. (Find the free download here - English OR German.) Unfortunately, I have heard far too many stories of friends who have gifted quilts, and their loved ones never used them - perhaps because they were not really aware how easy it is to care for them.

Since I personally use color catchers when washing quilts, I decided to add a little package with the quilt. It's kind of like sticking a pre-paid postage stamp on a letter - it just makes it easier for the person on the receiving end to follow through.

And I added my first quilt label! Especially since this was such an important date, the quilt label was the perfect way to document it, and one of the very few times that you will see me hand sewing! (ever!) Since teenagers are all about technology, I thought it was a fun little gesture to add the hashtag #thistookforever... which it kinda did.

So, now the cycle continues, and I am passing on the tradition that my aunt passed on to me... over a decade ago, she gave us the most beautiful quilt that has adorned our living room since - it is one of my most treasured pieces! ... and my hope is that the quilt I made for my niece will be treasured, loved, and snuggled in just as much.

Quilt Pattern: Summer Smoothie Quilt from Allison Richter for Campbell Soup Diary, free tutorial
Started: April 2017 Bee Quilt, Quilty Circle of Bees
Fabrics: Alison Glass, Carolyn Friedlander, Zen Chic, Carrie Bloomston, Cotton & Steel, various scraps, and low volume backgrounds.
Finished quilt size: ca. 56" x 70" in. (ca. 142 x 178 cm)


  1. The extras are really got helpers. And I sure hope your niece will use and love the quilt lots :) xo

  2. Thanks so much for this post and the free label! I found you through the Bernina Blog Interview that was published today and thought I`d drop you a note. I live in the southern part of Germany and have learned a lot from American quilters.
    Jetzt mach ich mal in Deutsch weiter, ich habe eine Frage: wie stellst Du Deine Quilt Care Labels her? Ich weiß von der Methode mit dem Tintenstrahldrucker, wir haben aber keinen. Gibt es eine andere Möglichkeit?
    Vielen Dank schon mal und liebe Grüße aus Sinsheim,
    Heide mit dem selben Nachnamen wie Du ;)
    Leider ließ mich Google dies nicht mit meinem Blogger Account kommentieren, deshalb leider anonym :(

  3. What a very thoughtful and brilliant idea! I have just completed a quilt for a dear friend who is homebound, so the idea of providing washing instructions as well as a box of color catchers is priceless! Thank you so much for sharing your idea.
    My first trip overseas as a young newly wed was to Germany. I absolutely fell in love with your beautiful country. I have since had the joy of taking two of my four children to different areas in Germany and as a family we have hosted several students from Hamm, Germany, one of our sister cities. I can't wait to return one day for the amazing Christmas markets in Germany.

    Happy Quilting!



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